Nuheara Limited (ASX:NUH) Co-founder and CEO, Justin Miller, discusses the success of IQbuds, and the launch of the company's second generation IQbuds BOOST for people with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Jessica Amir: Hello Jessica Amir here for the Finance News Network, with Nuheara Limited (ASX:NUH) Co-founder and CEO, Justin Miller. Justin thanks for coming.
Justin Miller: Thanks for having me.
Jessica Amir: First up for new investors, just give us a quick introduction to Nuheara.
Justin Miller: Nuheara is about developing game changing hearing solutions that are both accessible and affordable. And in game changing, we talk about things that go beyond the traditional means of things like music and phone calls, into things like augmentation, intelligent noise control. So things that are providing real benefits to people that have in some situations, some pretty significant problems.
Jessica Amir: Your wearables are your IQbuds; span a whole lot of different markets. But just give us some examples?
Justin Miller: We brought IQbuds to market. We started shipping our first product in January of last year and in doing so, we’ve now gone global. We’re in major retailers all around the world, from Best Buy (NYSE:BBY), Brookstone in the US, Harrods, Selfridges (LON:SLK) in the UK, right through the Middle East and the like. So we’ve got really good retail penetration on that particular product. We’ve sold a lot of product in the last 12 months since launching. And that’s enabled us to then develop a couple of other type of products, based on usage we could see on the use of the first product.
And the first extra product, or the second product we’re bringing to market is IQbuds BOOST, which is ideally targeted towards people with more mild hearing loss. So we’ve integrated a hearing test and then basically with that hearing test, auto configuring the ear buds to your hearing profile. So by creating your own ear ID as we’ve termed it. Everyone’s hearing is different and the unique experience about our products is that we give you some personalisation, as well as some really cool tech features that enable you to hear what you want to hear.
Essentially what we do, we do the things that traditional headphones would do, like music and phone calls. But we also do smart things like augmentation. So you might be walking listening to your music, but also be able to hear what’s going on around you, in terms of your surroundings. And then we do other things like intelligent noise control, which enables you to turn down background sounds and promote conversations. Which is pretty handy when you’re in a noisy bar or restaurant.
Jessica Amir: Now to the numbers, just tell us about your sales?
Justin Miller: Our sales have gone well. In our first 12 months of sales from January to December last year, we did $4.5 million worth of sales. As I said, that was global. We got significant growth out of our retail base as well. July last year, we had only 40 brick and mortar stores, by Christmas we had 1,500 around the world. So we’re going about growth the right way. We’re getting our growth, but importantly, we’re building a foundation to ensure that we get growth on growth.
Jessica Amir: And speaking about growth. Maybe you can tell us about the tailwinds that are making all your devices, or all your assisting devices more accessible?
Justin Miller: There’s a lot that’s happening in the hearing space today, which has sort of seen us gravitate towards hearing healthcare, more so than the headphone side of the market. The first is legislation. There’s been some legislation changes, particularly in the US where people with mild to moderate loss, no longer have to go to an audiologist just to get some hearing assistance. That’s being provided, that can now be provided through our normal retail chain. And significantly for us Best Buy, which is the largest consumer of electronics retailer in North America, has recently introduced a senior tech store within their stores. And I’m proud to say that our IQbuds BOOST, our new product, is a flagship product for part of their senior tech. So that’s an enormous opportunity for us.
Jessica Amir: Just tell us about the size of the market, or markets that you operate in. And secondly, what’s it going to take for more people to start to really buy your devices?
Justin Miller: IQbuds target a broad range of target markets from young to old. And what that facilitated for us was a couple of new different products. So we’re three products in market now. We’re already seeing IQbuds have an average user age of about 40. Our BOOST, which we started shipping weeks ago, has an average user base of 56. And the LiveIQ, which we introduced to market, will introduce into market in September of this year, is targeted for that younger sub40 category, that’s more into lifestyle and activity based situations. But from a healthcare perspective, there’s broad appeal across all those different generations, and we have a product that suits each of those.
Jessica Amir: Last but not least. Justin, why should investors be adding Nuheara to their portfolio?
Justin Miller: We touched on some of what’s happening in the hearing healthcare space today. Retail is changing, legislation is changing, perform factor is changing. I mean how many people do you see with things on their ears today. And Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) have actually made it really cool to have wireless things in your ears as well. So for us there’re a number of things that have happened. At the same time, which is perfect for us, in terms of creating a global need for products like ours.
Jessica Amir: Perfect. It’s all coming together. Justin Miller, thank you so much for the update.
Justin Miller: Appreciate it, thank you.